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30 January 2012 | PR 12/14

Phase Vision receives £1.5m investment to fund growth and export

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Loughborough’s Professor of Applied Mechanics Jon Huntley, co-founder and Technical Director of Phase Vision.

Loughborough University spin out and industrial inspection instrumentation company Phase Vision has closed a £1.5m funding round led by Qi3 Accelerator and Octopus Investments.

Phase Vision’s instruments help the aerospace, automotive and nuclear industries to manufacture and test systems more quickly and cheaply and with reduced environmental impact. 

Phase Vision has developed and sells a range of high precision measurement devices to manufacturing companies.  Its white light metrology products bring analysis tools that were once the domain of the metrology lab to the production line, aircraft hangar or shipyard. Results are obtained in seconds, not the hours or days required by other systems. This is crucial to 21st century manufacturing, and Phase Vision’s systems are already installed in a variety of manufacturing applications.  The company will use the funds raised to employ more staff and grow its UK and export sales.

Following a successful presentation at London Business Angels, Qi3 Accelerator offered to work with Phase Vision and existing investors Octopus, Lachesis and Loughborough University to bring together a syndicate.  This broad group includes investors from Qi3 Accelerator, London Business Angels and the LBA EIS Roundtable Syndicate Fund, MDT, Wren Capital, East Midlands Business Angels, Martlet, Cambridge Angels, Cambridge Capital Group and a co-investment fund.  Existing investors, management and staff backed the round.

Phase Vision CEO Ralph Weir said ‘I’m delighted to have received this support from our existing investors and the business angel community.  We have an exciting and innovative product which is now being adopted by major manufacturing companies and I’m keen to see it roll out around the world. Our team has worked had to get Phase Vision to this stage and now we have the resources to go for growth’.

Qi3 Accelerator Managing Director Nathan Hill, who has joined the Phase Vision Board as a non-executive Director said ‘I’m passionate about participating in the resurgence of British High Value Manufacturing and Engineering businesses. We work as an open syndicate, bringing together the skills and financial resources of a wide range of investors with technology and business experience. I’m particularly pleased that Phase Vision’s products enable efficient manufacture with reduced environmental impact.  I look forward to seeing this business grow from strength to strength’. 

Professor Steve Rothberg Loughborough University’s Pro Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) said ‘This is an excellent example of how the University’s world leading research can make a positive impact on the UK manufacturing base. Since the breakthrough in technology was made here at Loughborough in the mid 1990s, an excellent team has developed and I am delighted Phase Vision now has the investment to fulfil its potential.  I wish them every success.’

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Anna Seddon
Marketing Manager (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445
E: A.J.Seddon@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Background notes on consortium members

About Phase Vision www.phasevision.com 
Phase Vision has been a pioneer in the development of full field white light 3D micro-metrology since 2002. It designs and manufactures one of the fastest, most accurate medium- to large-volume 3D measurement solutions in the world, with clients spanning some of the biggest names in Aerospace Engineering, F1 Motorsport, Marine, Advanced Composites and General Industrial Manufacturing. Robust hardware and software solutions engineered for the most demanding customers are designed, manufactured and quality tested at its new high-tech facility in the UK. Leading-edge scanners, seamless compatibility with the latest 3D CAD software together with a “Can Do” approach to problem solving makes Phase Vision the ideal metrology partner for manufacturers. Phase Vision technology helps optimise processes, save time, reduce costs and offers new ways of approaching common engineering and measurement problems more effectively.

About Qi3 Accelerator www.qi3.co.uk/accelerator 
Qi3 Accelerator is a team of active angel investors which specialises in supporting companies by rapidly commercialising their products; achieving early sales without the expense of full time staff or the payment of high upfront fees. Qi3 Accelerator is suitable for entrepreneurs who know that they need expert and enthusiastic input from our commercial and engineering teams in addition to financial capital.  It invests primarily in the domain of High Value Manufacturing and engineering, including the sustainability, security and healthcare sectors.

Experienced investors Nathan Hill, Paul Anson and Tim de Vere Green lead the Qi3 Accelerator team, supported by investment analysis and other skills sourced from Qi3. It works with an Accelerator Club formed from a number of trusted Associates, who offer extensive business, technical and engineering expertise. This allows it to form a flexible ad hoc team to evaluate propositions and then support the business.  The Qi3 Accelerator team is linked to several formal and informal Business Angel networks.

About Octopus Investments Ltd www.octopusinvestments.com
Octopus Investments, founded in 2000, is a leading investment specialist. It offers innovative core and satellite investment solutions to UK investors, and a wide range of funding options for exceptional companies. Its core investments include a discretionary management service, multi-manager multi-asset OEICs, and single manager OEICs. These are complemented by a range of satellite solutions, including venture capital trusts, enterprise investment schemes and inheritance tax products. Each product has been designed to solve specific problems faced by financial advisers and their clients. Its funding solutions cover the entire capital structure, from equity through mezzanine to senior debt, and it seeks out outstanding management teams in unlisted companies with whom it can partner.

Octopus has built its business around three core pillars: customer led innovation, excellence in customer service and the quality of its people. It employs more than 200 people and currently manages more than £2.3 billion on behalf of investors. Octopus has won a number of awards for its products and customer service, has twice been voted one of the best 100 SMEs to work for by the Sunday Times, and is one of only two UK fund management companies to be AAA rated by financial advisers for customer service.

About Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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